Carmelo.png

Written by my collegue & friend Carmelo Andronaco, a salesforce solution architect in our Australia office.

 

Highlights From The Salesforce Winter 14 Release

Winter is coming! Time to get inside and snuggle up. No need for a fire, just get a copy of the Salesforce Winter 14 release notes, there are plenty of fireworks to keep you warm. Here is a quick guide outlining some of the key features that could help your organisation make the most of the updates. These functional updates can help improve efficiency and keep your organisation ahead of the pack.

General:

Performance Edition (to replace Unlimited)
Performance Edition includes all Unlimited functionality that combines CRM and the Force.com platform with Data.com, Work.com, Identity, Live Agent, Salesforce Knowledge, and additional sandbox functionality.

Unlimited Edition will no longer be available for purchase. Customers using Unlimited Edition can continue to maintain and renew their edition, or upgrade to Performance Edition.

Additional Search “All fields” on Enhanced Lookups
Salesforce lookups have always used the “Name” of the record to search for a match in a lookup field. Now you can use an “all fields” option to search across the record. This makes it easier to find the correct records. Now you have the ability to find a Contact by email address, or locate an Account by Account Number—very helpful.

Sales

Salesforce Console for Sales
Although the majority of the sales data can already be seen in the console, the official support will likely bring all of the standard Tabs into the Console view (i.e Home Tab, Activities, etc). The Salesforce Service Cloud™ Console has a very powerful “integration toolkit” to allow for improved agent flow in Service. The integration toolkit will likely unlock more diverse functionality from the Sales process flow. This feature is free in the Performance Edition, but it requires a Permission Set License in Enterprise and Unlimited editions.

Forecast Improvements
Forecasts now support the ability to show Opportunity Splits, a previous feature that allows you to share sales credit across multiple opportunity team members. Forecasts are just getting better and better, as they also now support the ability to forecast Product Groups. This powerful feature can make a difference to your budgets and forecasting— e.g., if your organization groups products and services into families (like “hardware” and “software”), forecasts now allow you to better predict revenue and a sales representative's quota attainment.

Service

Case Feed
Case Feed will now be the default view for all Cases by new organisations. If you are an existing user of Cases and are not using the Case Feed, you should consider adding it to your roadmap. Salesforce.com is investing in this layout and it has features that will not work in standard layout (e.g., Quick Text, Attach an article PDF to an email from knowledge sidebar, etc).

Knowledge is free, if you want to read it
Knowledgebase Articles are now available to “read” for the majority of users* without an additional feature license. Only the users who create, edit, delete, and publish knowledge articles require an additional feature license. Chatter will also be included for draft articles, to help collaborate on content prior to publishing. Time to share and spread the knowledge!
*Chatter Plus / Force.com license users will still need the feature license.

Recurring Milestones in Entitlement Processes

The Entitlement and Milestones in Salesforce were hard to fit into most use Cases for a lot of businesses. The linear timeline was sometimes unreliable, as there is frequently a need to alternate between internal groups, or the customer to help solve a Case. With recurring Milestones, we can now track the SLA for each step as it recurs over the Case lifecycle. There are also a few new Case Feed items to help with visibility and tracking.

Chatter

Mention Groups
Chatter now makes it easier to reach out to internal specialist groups. This improves connectivity and collaboration when you need it most. Need help with a certain product for a sales pitch, or service support? Simply @mention a group of experts and have it appear in all of their feeds, as well as in the group feed. Find the information you need and get a collaborative response faster.

Mobile Updates
If you are using Salesforce Chatter and are not using the latest mobile edition, you are missing out! Chatter has become a powerful mobile application for your Salesforce data. Recent updates allow for chat on records, as well as editing and updating of the record data. When installed on an iOS device, any Salesforce email will also open in the Chatter Mobile App. Administrators are experiencing better controls to help manage Chatter apps connecting to their Salesforce instance.

Chatter is becoming the way companies communicate internally and do business. You won’t regret jumping on board with the latest mobile edition.

Reporting

Historical Trends
Historical trending comes with a new custom report type designed to highlight changes between any five snapshot dates. It adds the ability to analyse day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month changes in the Opportunities object and up to three custom objects.
There are some overall limitations to watch out for, but this is a step in the right direction by salesforce.com to improve the overall analytics of the platform.

Embedded Analytics
Constantly jumping into Salesforce Reports to obtain basic analytics about an Account or Case can be arduous. Now, up to two report charts can be embedded into the standard page layout. Add a quick graph to show the different opportunity or Case stages for an Account...everyone loves pictures!

Other features worth mentioning:

  • Workflow for the User Object
  • Salesforce Files — Pilot (Possibly a new name for Chatterbox?)
  • Chatter Posts now support 5000 characters
  • Ability to Freeze User Accounts
  • Analytics API - Access Salesforce Report results via an API

What Now?
Read the full release notes and official Winter 14 overview here.

Already using Salesforce and just never get a chance to take full use of enhancements in every release? Sign up for Bluewolf’s free Salesforce Health Check.